February 28, 2009

Domestic City, Part Five

On Saturday night, Emily walked around the lake with her boyfriend. That day, in between online matches of Death Tank which were totally amazing and destructive, she had played through the entirety of Braid. Afterwards, she took an aspirin and lay down on the couch for ten minutes in silence. Video games did not usually move her or confuse her like Braid had, and after completing the game she felt a strong need to be contemplative. She didn't really know what being contemplative properly entailed, but decided it would probably work if she and Patrick went and stared quietly at a lake. Unfortunately, there was a jetski speeding around the lake blasting techno, which ruined the mood but it did make Emily want to buy a jetski.

Braid has set Emily's brain on fire. The game, she was sure, had to mean something. Emily had about thirteen thousand different thoughts on the game rushing through her head (was there something in there about a nuclear bomb?) and she needed to talk about it with somebody who would understand.

Patrick was not that person. Emily and Patrick had an equal share in their living room bookcase: Patrick's half contained books, DVDs, music and comics, and Emily's half was nothing but games, and also one Philip Roth novel.

A couple of women in Emily's new office had recently organised a 'game group' which chose a certain game and then met every week in a cafe or somewhere similar to discuss it. Emily briefly considered joining, and submitting Braid as a topic, and then pictured herself in a library drinking tea with women ten years her senior and felt so uninspired that she wanted to throw up.

"Listen," she said to Patrick, "when we get back I want to show you this fun game Death Tank. It's cool; you can guide the missiles."

The jetski buzzed past the shore. Emily raised her arms and shouted as it sped away: "Whoooooo!"


Raelifin said...

What does it mean?!?! This series is as confusing as Braid!

Duncan said...

On the upside, unlike Braid, there will never be a flood of articles and blog posts analysing Domestic City.

Michael Peterson said...

I don't know, that sounds like a challenge to me.

Anonymous said...

I'm starting to wonder if the point is that this "fantasy universe," as Steve Gaynor called it in the Part Three comments, isn't all that different from our own.

We'll see if that idea holds up over the last four. Either way, brilliant work.